Air India doubling frequencies to San Francisco

Count this under the hunger for growth category. Yesterday I wrote about Air India’s new flights launching to Spain effective December 1, 2016. There, I wrote about the other big steps Air India has been taking over the months. That is what a low oil price and access to the new long & thin route enabler the Boeing 787 Dreamliner can do. This year, they launched a flight from Ahmedabad to London & Newark, utilizing a long standing fifth freedom route on the London-Newark route. Before that, they launched a 3x flight from Delhi to Vienna. They still intend to start a flight to Washington DC from Delhi.

a seat with pillows on it

Air India’s Business Class on the 77L

Last year, they launched a 3x flight to San Francisco, which is being operated by the Boeing 77L, which they have 3 of in their fleet. Air India had a larger fleet of 77Ls, but they sold 5 of them to Etihad because given the higher cost of fuel over the years, they were not able to use them effectively. However, with this route, they are seeing significant traction, and that has given them confidence to double down on the flight to 6 times a week. As per a friend who took this flight a couple of times, it is usually full in the back as well as in J class.

Here is the new schedule of the Air India flights between Delhi & San Francisco,

AI173 DEL0235 – 0600SFO 77L x2
AI174 SFO1030 – 1615+1DEL 77L x2

The airline is going to operate the 6 times a week schedule with effect from November 21, 2016. This is now updated in the Air India systems as well, so there should be a lot of new award inventory available as well for those who are planning redemptions via Star Alliance miles.

Have you flown Air India on this sector? Look forward to hearing your experiences.

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. I’ve taken the AI Delhi – SF non-stop flight for 2 round trips and while the time savings are definitely good, the flight experience is surely making me consider other airlines. Enough has been said about poor service so I won’t comment on that. What bothers me the most is that the plane they use on this route is terribly old. I’ve tried 4 different seats on that plane and I am yet to get lucky with a functioning entertainment system. Not to mention that the entertainment options are abysmal.

    I will happily fly AI every time if they start using a newer plane for this route but until then I am sticking with Emirates.

  2. Not relevant: Just flew AI LHR-BOM J, service was pathetic even by AI standards. Guy next to me was a PE/VC used to flying F/private, and was cursed with the worst luck ever – seat not working, downgraded from F, no choice of dinner.

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